Baked Okra with Turmeric


Aparigraha can be practiced in all areas of life including our  diet.

Imagine that your digestive system has a couple of junk drawers - collections of half-used stuff that was once interesting and now simply takes up space. We often hold onto things in our external and internal environments and this excess baggage holds us back. Bogs us down.

​What to do? 

Enter the yama of aparigraha. The conscious yogic practice of letting go. ​

​Aparigraha can be practiced in all areas of life including our diet.  We can let go of the partially digested food in our system - known as ama - by regularly consuming an appropriate amount of extractive foods. 

​Extractive foods encourage the release of undigested food because the bitter, pungent and astringent taste draws out metabolic toxins through the digestive process. Examples of extractive foods include legumes, leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. Meat, fish and processed foods also fall into this category, but they are more taxing on the digestive system and not ideal for the purpose of cleansing (they may actually contribute to ama if consumed in excess and if agni is weak).

Extractive foods are necessary for cleansing and promoting lightness. However, remember that balance is key. Too much extractive food will aggravate vata dosha and weaken agni, contributing to indigestion, constipation and the accumulation of ama (the very toxins that we were trying to get rid of in the first place!). Furthermore, too much extractive food can leave us looking for a heavier, sweeter taste, and frequently leads to the desire to snack on sugary, heavy food between meals (which will weaken agni and aggravate the doshas).

So, for optimal digestion and dosha balance, your Ayurvedic plate will include 40% extractive foods and 60% augmenting foods.

Augmenting foods include whole grains and sweeter vegetables. Carrots, zucchini and sweet potato fall into this category.  ​

Here is a recipe for a tasty extractive vegetable: Baked Okra with Turmeric. Okra has the bitter taste and and part slimy, part chewy texture. And when it’s baked in the oven, it’s totally delicious. 

Baked Okra with Turmeric

Serves 2
Preparation time: 45 minutes


6 large pieces of okra 

1 Tbsp ghee or Sunflower oil 

¼ tsp mineral saltt

Mustard seeds

Fresh chopped turmeric 

Small squeeze of lime

​¼ cup fresh cilantro


Heat the oil in a small pan and simmer the salt, turmeric and mustard seeds until the seeds pop and the aroma is present. Slice the okra in half longwise and lay in a baking dish. Pour the oil and spices over the okra. Put a little water into the pan, swish and pour this in the baking dish as well just covering the bottom of the baking dish. Place in a preheated oven at 190C/350F for about 35 minutes. The length of time baking will depend on your oven and the size of the okra. A knife should go in and come out easily when ready.

​Remove from oven and add a squeeze of lime and cilantro. Let sit a few minutes and serve with a grounding augmenting veggie and your favorite grains and legumes. Enjoy! 

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